Saturday, June 20, 2009

1959 Sainty Grads Tour "The Breaks"

On Saturday, the class of 1959 met behind the highschool in Sainty to climb on a schoolbus for a tour of "the breaks". Tobe Zweygardt climbed aboard at the museum and pointed out interesting sights along the way beginning with the 1935 flood high water mark, a white painted brick on the wall of the Municipal Light & Power building. The river became a mile wide and 17 feet deep west of town. They built a foot bridge across the swollen river so people from west of the river could come into town for school and shopping. Next was the marker depicting the route of the stage coach back in the late 1800's, then going north of town he pointed out where the Cheyenne Indian prayer camp was near the south side of the river about a quarter mile from the road. Buffalo Bill also camped near there on his way to Colorado.
We crossed the south fork of the Republican River and drove past the GAR Cemetery. He told about the 700 mile long oil pipeline that stretches from Kansas into Wyoming that we crossed just north of the cemetery. He pointed out the place where his grandfather homesteaded up on the flat just before dropping down into a creek valley where the Carmichael place sits up on the bank to the right of the road.
Up over the hill and down into the Hackberry creek bottom where the Carr family settled on their homestead and is still owned by a grand-daughter Virginia (Carr) Fiedler and her husband Bill. Back up onto the flatland past the Fergusson place and the marker where the Prairie Bell school used to sit.

Traveling on north across Road BB and up to the south ridge above the Arikaree Breaks we passed the places where my Crabtree grandparents and their children Sylvester, Serepta and Mary laid out their homestead land back in the 1880s & 1890s.

The bus pulled to a stop where you can see for miles across the canyons and cattle were grazing on the far side and the soapweed was blooming in abundance. Joy Fisher remembered how bad the milk tasted after the cows would enjoy eating the soapweed flowers.

The Arikaree Breaks are 2 miles wide at their widest point and stretch from Rawlins County Kansas into eastern Colorado.

After driving across the Kansas/Nebraska stateline and on north to Hiway 34, we traveled west until we reached Trail Canyon which is marked with a State Historical Marker telling about the trail drives that came through this area. A stop was made at the Haigler Jail and a rest stop at the Haigler Park. We drove past the District 67 South school house that was moved in from the country northwest of Haigler and is being restored.

The tour then moved west of Haigler, past the “gambling house” of the 1890s and turned back south past the Grand View School foundation and across Devil’s Gap, past the Hope Cemetery then onto Hiway 27 where we traveled back to St. Francis.

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